Belgian Newspapers v. Google: Text of the Court of Appeal’s Decision

Claude AlmansiBy Claude Almansi
Editor, Accessibility Issues
ETCJ Associate Administrator

In 2006, Copiepresse, the  rights managing society of  Belgian  publishers of  French- and German-language daily newspapers, sued Google about the snippets shown in Google News  and about the cached versions displayed in Google Search. On May 5, 2011, a decision of the Brussels appeal court slightly reworded but basically confirmed the 2007 judgment of the first instance court :

La cour … Condamne Google à retirer des sites Google.be et Google.com, plus particulièrement des liens «en cache» visibles sur “Google Web” et du service “Google News”, tous les articles, photographies et représentations graphiques des éditeurs belges de presse quotidienne francophone et germanophone, représentés par Copiepresse …,  sous peine d’une astreinte de 25.000,00 € par jour de retard ….

The syntax is contorted and  the  part between commas starting with “plus particulièrement” is ambiguous. Moreover, I’m not a lawyer. So here is a very informal attempt at translation:

The court … orders Google to withdraw from the Google.be and Google.com sites, more particularly from the “cached” links visible on “Google Web” and from the “Google News” service, all articles, photographs and graphical representations of the Belgian publishers of French- and German press represented by Copiepresse  …,   or pay € 25’000.00 for each day in noncompliance …. Continue reading

‘YouTube Copyright School’ – Remixed and Mixed Up

Claude AlmansiBy Claude Almansi
Editor, Accessibility Issues
ETCJ Associate Administrator

In his lecture, “The Architecture of Access to Scientific Knowledge: Just How Badly We Have Messed This Up” (at CERN, Geneva, CH. April 18, 2011), Lawrence Lessig discussed YouTube’s new copyright school. (See 35:42 – 39:46 in the subtitled and transcribed video of his lecture.) The YouTube Copyright School video he showed and commented was uploaded by YouTube on March 24, 2011, then integrated into what looks like an  interactive tutorial, also entitled YouTube Copyright School, with a quiz on the side.

More information about this “school” was given on the YouTube Official Blog in “YouTube Copyright Education (Remixed)” (April 14, 2011):

If we receive a copyright notification for one of your videos, you’ll now be required to attend YouTube Copyright School, which involves watching a copyright tutorial and passing a quiz to show that you’ve paid attention and understood the content before uploading more content to YouTube.

YouTube has always had a policy to suspend users who have received three uncontested copyright notifications. This policy serves as a strong deterrent to copyright offenders. However, we’ve found that in some cases, a one-size-fits-all suspension rule doesn’t always lead to the right result. Consider, for example, a long-time YouTube user who received two copyright notifications four years ago but who’s uploaded thousands of legitimate videos since then without a further copyright notification. Until now, the four-year-old notifications would have stayed with the user forever despite a solid track record of good behavior, creating the risk that one new notification – possibly even a fraudulent notification – would result in the suspension of the account. We don’t think that’s reasonable. So, today we’ll begin removing copyright strikes from user’s accounts in certain limited circumstances, contingent upon the successful completion of YouTube Copyright School, as well as a solid demonstrated record of good behavior over time. Expiration of strikes is not guaranteed, and as always, YouTube may terminate an account at any time for violating our Terms of Service.

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Beware of Privacy and Other Issues When Signing Up for Free Courses

Claude AlmansiBy Claude Almansi
Editor, Accessibility Issues
ETCJ Associate Administrator

Note: This post arises from my personal experience with one “free” online course for teachers provided by an Italian nonprofit association. Hopefully, other similar offers are managed with more care. However, in case not all of them are, here goes, as a cautionary tale.

Didasca’s course about “Google Apps Education”

Last year, the Italian Didasca association launched its first free online course for teachers about Google Apps for Education. If you know how to use an office suite to produce content, doing so with Google Docs or its version for schools, Google Apps, is a no-brainer. However, using such collaborative online tools with minor students presents some specific issues, in particular privacy issues, which I assumed the Didasca course covered.

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Of Cows, Captions and Copyright: Users Need the Right to Caption and Subtitle Videos for Access and Learning

Claude AlmansiBy Claude Almansi
Editor, Accessibility Issues

Disclaimer | Digesting grass | Digesting videos | Video and text | Read-Write culture and tools | Universal Subtitles | Copyright hits the fan | Lessig’s plea | Other obstacles |Solution?

Disclaimer

Non scientists should refrain from using scientific concepts as metaphors. I am fully aware of this, and actually, when a sociologist or other humanistic scholar thus hijacks terms or phrases like “black hole,” “big bang,” “DNA,”  etc., I skip his/her text if possible.

Nevertheless, what little I understand of how the cellulase enzyme works for ruminants has been very instrumental  in my first perception of how captioning videos helps all users digest their content, and underlies what I have written here so far about captioning. Hence the decision to come out explicitly with this subjective and uninformed perception of  it.

Digesting grass

Cows can digest and assimilate the grass cellulose because they ruminate it, but not only: humans could  chew and re-chew grass for hours and hours, yet they would still excrete its cellulose whole without assimilating any because we lack  something cows have: the cellulase enzyme that chops up the molecules of cellulose into sugar types so that they can be assimilated Continue reading

‘Locked’ Ning Networks? Access, Copyright and Privacy

Claude AlmansiBy Claude Almansi
Editor, Accessibility Issues

Context

On September 14, 2010, after Ning had postponed the deadline for shutting nonpaying networks for the umpteenth time, I wrote:

I will not write another full post about Ning until the non paying groups have been deleted, or Ning gets bought by a more efficient firm, or disappears. But I’ve opened a Ning page on the wiki of ETC Journal where I shall attempt to keep track of what happens at Ning.

in a comment to my Why Unjoin Ning Networks that Won’t Pay (Aug. 28, 2010).

And now I am writing one, even though nonpaying groups have not been deleted and no one — to my knowledge — has shown any interest in buying Ning.  Motive: a discussion entitled “Deletion of Free Ning Networks?” started by Alex on September 18 in the Ning Creators network. Though it disappeared very quickly, there is a copy archived with WebCite® on the same day: http://webcitation.org/5sq785FZF.

Eric Suesz — senior community manager at Ning — participated in this discussion, stating that “All free Ning Networks are now locked and can’t be accessed.” This is simply untrue. Continue reading

UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Copyright Committee – 14th Session

Accessibility 4 All by Claude AlmansiThe 14th Session of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Copyright Committee will take place from June 7 to June 9 in Paris. Two of  the available working documents for that meeting give further information on UNESCO’s “anti-piracy” policy (already discussed in UNESCO, World Anti-Piracy Observatory and YouTube on this blog):

UNESCO World Anti-Piracy Observatory IGC(1971)/XIV/5B

WAPO covers 52% of UNESCO member countries

UNESCO World Anti-Piracy Observatory IGC(1971)/XIV/5B  (available in English, French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic), apart from the information already made available by UNESCO on the World Anti-Piracy Observatory (WAPO) site and in the French Wikipedia article about it, reveals that only 52% of the UNESCO member countries answered the survey on which WAPO bases the information concerning national copyright laws and “anti-piracy” measures. Continue reading

UNESCO, World Anti-Piracy Observatory and YouTube

Accessibility 4 All by Claude Almansi

Content:

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